Probate courts have their own rules, procedures and timelines that must be followed. Simple mistakes — such as a missed deadline — by attorneys who are unfamiliar with the probate system can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars lost. That is why it is important to hire attorneys experienced in the nuances of probate court and probate litigation. Our firm has a proud tradition of helping South Carolinians navigate the complexities of the Probate Court system for more than a half of a century. Our attorneys are extremely well-versed in probate law and court procedure. Our experience allows us to provide clients with a practical assessment of their probate case to assist in assessing the likelihood of success or failure.
Our litigation team has the experience, tenacity, and know-how to help bring together the best possible case for our clients — making our firm one of the most respected probate litigation firms in South Carolina. We begin by formulating a carefully constructed legal strategy, before ever stepping foot in the courtroom, to ensure that our clients achieve their will contest goals. Whether you wish to challenge the validity of a will or need help defending against will contest claims, our experienced litigation team will be there for you every step of the way.
Wills may become invalid when a person lacks “testamentary capacity.” This means the person’s mental and cognitive abilities do not rise to the level required by law to be considered competent to execute a Will. If your loved one executed a Will while they were severely affected by a medical condition, including dementia, Alzheimer’s, insanity, or other mental or psychological disorders greatly affecting their mental and cognitive abilities, there may be grounds to invalidate the Will. Further, an improperly drafted or executed Will may be invalidated if the technical requirements of a Will have not been satisfied. Let us help your family to ensure that the true final wishes of your loved one are realized — by determining whether a Will which never should have been executed in the first place can be invalidated.
Our team of litigators are focused on helping our clients undo the damage caused by the fraudulent actions of another. As our loved ones age, their physical and mental faculties weaken. All too frequently, the elderly become prime targets of crime, mistreatment, and fraud. A recent study by the National Institute for Justice revealed that over one out of every ten elders reported experiencing at least one form of mistreatment — emotional, physical, sexual or potential neglect — in the past year. Even more disturbing, the study revealed that nearly 1 out of every 20 elders will be the victim of financial exploitation by a family member.
As we have seen on numerous occasions throughout the last quarter century, a spouse, a caretaker, a sibling, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a distant relative, or even a child will try to take advantage of an elderly person’s fragile state — exploiting or coercing them into changing their Will or Estate Planning. The signs of this this type of activity include isolating the elderly person from the rest of their family; limiting means of communication; over-medicating or under-medicating; taking control over the elderly person’s access to food, transportation, medical care, and finances. These signs are usually accompanied by suspicious transfers of property or monies prior to death, or the creation of a new Will which is completely different than any previous Will. If you believe your loved one has been the victim of undue influence resulting in an unnatural change to their Will or Estate Planning, or if you believe their will was created under suspicious circumstances, let us help investigate the matter, and ensure that your family member’s true final wishes are honored.
Over the years, our firm has successfully challenged invalid and wrongfully-procured Wills; secured rightful inheritance for common law spouses and omitted children. However, unlike some firms, our experience in Probate Court includes working on “both sides of the aisle.” Our team has represented and defended numerous Estates from frivolous attacks and suspicious claims. This comprehensive portfolio of work gives our team the experience to help defend your loved one’s Estate and secure your family’s wealth from those hoping to cash in after a loved one’s demise. There are many legitimate grounds for challenging a Will or other testamentary document — however, many seek to take advantage of a tragedy and a family’s vulnerability. If your family member’s Will is being challenged by a person claiming to be entitled to your loved one’s assets, we can help protect your family and your assets, and most importantly, defend and honor your loved one’s final wishes.